Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Maybe I am getting through to them

As you know, as an Estrela Mountain Dog, king of all breeds, I am naturally the leader of any pack I am in. Rather than the brute-force approach taken by most other breeds, I prefer a more nurturing, educating leadership style. Other dogs cannot be Estrelas, but they can learn from us and try to take on some of our better qualities, even though for the most part they cannot actually succeed.

Now, anyone seeing the motley crew of individuals I have to work with might be immediately inclined to throw in the towel when it comes to education, and resort to the usual snarling and baring of teeth. Besides the two big dumb wolfhounds there is an Australian Shepherd that must be almost 91 in dog years (he once told me, "I was an Aussie when Aussies weren't cool"), and a smallish mutt that, thanks to the wolfhounds, seems to be getting more neurotic every day. But, I am not just anyone, I am Champion Bart the Estrela Prince, and thus I take it as a personal challenge upon myself to do what I can without resorting to violence.

So last night I was heartened by something that occurred. My favorite human had spent many hours yesterday in the kitchen preparing food. She had worked with the boy child on some excellent-smelling dessert with blueberries picked from the bushes in the back yard that so tantalizingly call me to them at this time of year. Most of the afternoon, I and the big dumb wolfhounds were locked in the dog yard, so I didn't have any opportunity to sample it. Old Man was locked in the big crate with the fan blowing on him, but the little mutt (who I am told used to be a lot of fun) was loose in the kitchen.

And wouldn't you know it, she remembered some of my lessons! She remembered how all the food in the house is actually ours, even when they don't directly give it to us. She remembered that humans sometimes leave food in challenging locations, which is a practice meant to encourage us to use our minds (some of us having more in that department than others) as well as our bodies. And she managed to sample some of the blueberry cake! Way to go, little mutt!

Now, she didn't get it exactly right. It seems she was still a little skeptical that the cake was for us, and thus she only took a minute sample that almost went unnoticed (that was at least clever, if misguided), and did it while the humans were busy outside. But still, progress is progress, and I am pleased.

But I still have to work out how to get myself some of that dessert. I know there is some left, but while we got some scraps from dinner, there was not a blueberry in sight.

Just keep me away from the baklava.

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